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Engagement Strategy, Agile Process, Trusted Partners

April 11, 2016

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David Glick and I had a great time presenting at the 2016 Nonprofit Technology Conference with The Mountaineers’ Jeff Bowman and Percolator Consulting’s Karen Uffelman (here’s a link to our session page.) We gave a soup to nuts run through of the big website project we did together. Jeff provided some context for the project and showed off the final result. Karen described the development of The Mountaineers’ engagement strategy, which was the basis for everything we did. She also explained how user experience and graphic design was integrated into the overall project. David and I described technical discovery, our agile process, and the year-long implementation of the Plone website and back end. Karen and Jeff also covered how to survive project disasters (the consulting partner that The Mountaineers had carefully selected and vetted essentially went out of business after their initial round of technical discovery), and the importance of planning for ongoing support and development after the site is launched.

Through it all, we emphasized the keys to this project’s success, which were:

  • A solid engagement strategy guiding what we wanted to accomplish – Percolator’s superpower.
  • An agile process that minimized risk and adapted quickly to change – Jazkarta’s superpower.
  • Working with trusted partners with great communication skills who understood The Mountaineers and the technologies they were adopting – as Karen put it, “Choose your project partner like you’d choose a spouse.”

How successful was this project? In addition to all the oooo’s, aaaah’s and good feelings, we have some numbers about that. In the first year post launch, the site had 69% more unique visitors, 72% more page views, and a 23% reduction in bounce rate. That trend continues through the present day.

If you’d like to learn more, you can view or download our presentation on Slideshare. You can also view the Twitter stream for our talk at #16ntcwebanatomy and read the shared document where the audience took collaborative notes. I’ll share here the most fun item on the stream – Twitter user @fulltrucker‘s artistic and amusing session notes:

@fulltrucker's WebAnatomy Session Notes 1

@fulltrucker's WebAnatomy Session Notes 2


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